I was on my way home from a meeting and had to stop for a traffic light.
It’s part of what I’m supposed to do.
No one was coming either way. For quite a long time.
I was antsy. It felt like the longest light known to man. I could have gotten a manicure in the time I waited at that light.
It finally changed.
And a car drove up. All that opportunity, and he missed it.
Traffic laws often feel annoying. When it’s the middle of the night, I’m at a stoplight and nobody else is even on the road, why do I need to wait?
Or worse yet, when I’m stopped at a light that’s not working correctly because it doesn’t change at all, when do I get to go? Why do I have to be the one to just sit there while everyone else gets to go?
Sometimes the way life works doesn’t make sense. In those times, I’d like to operate with my own authority and kick those rules to the curb.
I know what would happen. I’m the one who’d get caught. This would be the time when police appear out of nowhere to issue me a ticket even though five cars ahead of me have gone through that red light.
Rules and laws are necessary for the safety of all. I don’t question that.
Well, maybe occasionally.
The need for laws comes from our inability as people to self-regulate. We’re not fair to everyone. Nor do we treat all people kindly. If we all had pure hearts, laws would be unnecessary. We’d be naturally caring and honest.
Laws make sense.
Good Friday is the epitome of something not making any sense.
Jesus came to earth to show us God. To let us know that God cares for us. Delights in us. Knows and values the details of our lives.
He did wonderful things for others. Feeding large crowds from a small boy’s meager lunch. Healing sick people. Raising folks from the dead.
And yet, He was arrested. Betrayed by one of His own men. Went through a mockery of a trial which made no sense. Laws were used to meet a political end. Not for justice.
He was tortured. Beaten till He wasn’t recognizable. He was stripped naked and His hands and feet were nailed to a cross.
Not for anything He’d done.
For everything we’ve done. Every wrong action, bad thought, intentional misdeed.
Because a pure and holy God requires those in His presence to be pure and holy.
And we’re not.
The law was given to help us understand how we miss the mark of that perfection. Laws can’t save us. They condemn us when we break them.
Jesus, wanting us to spend eternity with Him, provided a way for us to experience heaven without having to be perfect.
He paid the price for us.
A necessary death. Because He loves us that much.
Some laws may annoy.
When it comes to redemption, I’m glad Jesus didn’t kick that one to the curb.